Monday, 1 May 2017
Intelligence And Technology
People, and their pre-human ancestors, have acted on and changed their natural environments with hands and brains. All technology, from spears and pens to factories and computers, is a set of artificial extensions of hands and brains. Intelligence, located in the brain, is applied to thought about the environment primarily in a practical attempt to change it; only secondarily in abstract reflection and contemplation, contra Plato. See here. Disembodied consciousnesses contemplating abstractions are in Plato's ideal realm but not in our empirical realm.
In science fiction:
many authors speculate about the course and consequences of technological innovations;
Artificial Intelligence is a technology that might not extend but supercede human brains;
intelligence ceases to be dampened in Poul Anderson's Brain Wave;
technology begins to be dampened in SM Stirling's Emberverse series.
Thus, Anderson and Stirling directly address not only technology but also these two complementary aspects of humanity.
Is a real quest for a sword of power plausible after an event like Stirling's Change? By a "real quest," I mean one that is not just imagined but really is instigated by a vision and a Voice? It depends on the nature of the Change. What or who caused this event? I must continue to read the series and also maybe reread some earlier passages.